Supreme Court Rules: Same Sex Marriage is Legal in all 50 states
In the biggest news this week, the Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, ruling that the Constitution requires all states to license same-sex marriages AND recognize same-sex marriages licensed and performed out-of-state. We’ve blogged about same-sex marriage laws quite a bit over the last couple of years. This has been a volatile issue, with many state and federal decisions issued and reversed, injunctions imposed and lifted, and both confusion and conflict among the states. The SCOTUS decision will bring certainty and predictability moving forward. You can read the full decision, including several spirited dissents here.
What does this mean for Reed Group? Our products and services are already in the process of being updated to reflect coverage for same-sex spouses for laws providing spousal leave, such as FMLA. Many changes have already been made, resulting from individual federal court decisions over the last years, but there were a few states where same-sex marriage remained unlawful. The precise date this decision will take effect in each state varies based on individual court stays that must be lifted, but Reed Group is moving forward proactively to recognize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
The EEOC Updates Pregnancy Discrimination Guidance
On Thursday, June 25, the EEOC again updated its Pregnancy Discrimination Guidance, taking into account the Young decision and adjusting the guidance accordingly. Last summer the EEOC issued new guidance for employers regarding pregnancy discrimination and accommodations. However, this spring, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, which criticized the EEOC guidance. In a press release, the EEOC explained, “women may be able to prove unlawful pregnancy discrimination if the employer accommodated some workers but refused to accommodate pregnant women…employer policies that are not intended to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy may still violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) if the policy imposes significant burdens on pregnant employees without a sufficiently strong justification.” You can read the full Guidance here.
What does this mean for Reed Group? We stay on top of issues related to accommodation (including leave) for pregnant employees, and are incorporating these updates into our products and services, including the LeaveAdvisor Chapter and Whitepaper on Pregnancy Accommodation.
Oregon Updates Regulations to the Oregon Family Leave Act, Oregon Military Family Leave Act, and Oregon Victims of Certain Crimes Leave Act
We certainly can’t accuse the Oregon regulators of being complacent. They have tweaked many of the Oregon leave law regulations, most notably changing the definition of “child” under sick leave to the prior definition (under age of 18 or an adult limited by an impairment), clarifying and amending the interaction with workers’ compensation laws, and revising consequences for an employee’s failure to provide notice of foreseeable leave in different circumstances. The full redlined version can be viewed here.
What does this mean for Reed Group? We will fine-tune our LeavePro software and leave administration services, taking into account all relevant changes.
The Pregnancy Accommodation Train Keeps on Chugging
With the momentum over the last couple of years building from D.C, Illinois, Delaware, Minnesota, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey and West Virginia, more states are onboard with pregnancy accommodations– including leave as an accommodation. North Dakota passed a pregnancy accommodation law on April 6. Rhode Island’s legislature sent a bill to the Governor’s desk on June 24 that would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employee’s affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress has proposed a similar law on the federal level, so stay tuned for more on this hot topic.
What does this mean for Reed Group? As always, we ensure that employees’ requests in these states are evaluated under the appropriate laws to determine if leave would be a reasonable accommodation.
Is your head spinning? Have a question about all of this information? Call Reed Group! OR sign up for your free LeaveAdvisor trial today!